Roberto Almagno | Naufragio

Collateral exhibition during the 2019 Venice Biennale

9 May – 8 July 2019
Vernissage: Thursday 9 May 2019 | 6.30–8.30 pm Fondamenta Sant’Apollonia, Castello, 4309, Venice


“To cut off the Medusa’s head without being turned to stone, Perseus supports himself on the very lightest of things; the winds and the clouds.” Italo Calvino
Roberto Almagno’s sculptures may begin life attached to the ground or a wall but they extend out into space as, like
‘Perseus’, they attempt to float in the air.

rosenfeld porcini is proud to present “Naufragio”, an exhibition of sculptures by Italian artist Roberto Almagno, during the opening of the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale. Just as in the Biennale theme this year “May you live in interesting times” the exhibition will reflect upon the precarious aspects of existence today; the fragility inherent in Almagno’s works is also a comment on the uncertainty of life and how balance is a fundamental element to the continuation of humanity.

So much contemporary sculpture is about weight in addition to a commentary on man’s place in the world, whilst, In stark contrast, Almagno is preoccupied with levity and spirit, his is a search for absolute purity and the perfection of form. Rather than be a part of the world, he wishes to take his art out of it. Using the tiniest of insertions into the floor or wall, they appear as if suspended in space, defying the laws of gravity.

“I no longer think of sculpture as a stable object but as form, an ongoing and unending flow, a process that marks exist- ence through constant uncertainty and through a dialogue resolved by obeying space but without concretely occupying it. I am searching for fleeting shapes which move from very light semblances and rise into the air “

Almagno’s works appear timeless . They could have been created many years or centuries ago but are also of their time. His process is that of an ancient craftsman. He finds his wood in the forests surrounding Rome, his adopted city. Once he has shaved them down, he uses humidity and heat to bend the wood into the shape he desires. They are then given the coat of black creating the initial illusion in the viewer that they are looking at metal and thus sculptures which appear heavy.

“I want to make sculptures which seem to rise into the sky with force yet full of harmony, works which express the prayer and sacrifice of men when faced with time and infinite space.”



May 2, 2019